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Paper Items with SketchUp and Pepakura 


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Paper Items with SketchUp and 


Written By: Joshua Johnson 

*/ TOOLS: 

Computer running Windows XP. Vista, or Mac OS X (1) 
Glue or Tape (1) 
Printer (1) 
Scissors (1) 
internet (1) 


In order to complete this you must have downloaded and installed the free SketchUp 
program from Google as well as this free .STL and .DXF exporter . You must also download 
Pepakura3 . 

This guide shows you how to take a simple drawing that you have created or found and 
make it into a paper pattern. The creative individual can also export to a vinyl cutter or 
various types of CNC machines. 

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Paper Items with SketchUp and Pepakura 


:D-tic01 - SkclchUp 

II File Edit 

View Cirtltri DfJw Tools Window Plugins Kelp 


* 9 



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lO O © *** L 

# After SketchUp, the .STL exporter 
and Pepakura have been installed it 
is time to try a simple model. I 
went to 
and chose "Geodesic dome 01" 
from the menu, saved it to my 
desktop and opened it with 
SketchUp. It looks like this. 

GeodesicOomeOl - SketchUp 

J Geodesi 

I File Edit 

File Edit View Camera Draw \ Tapis | Window Plug ins Help 




• # 

Paint Bucket 



Folio* Me 

Outer Shell 

Solid Toofc (Pro Onty) 

Tape Measure 





3D Text 

Section Plane 


• Begin by pulling down the Tools 
menu and clicking on Export to 

• The following menu will ask you 
whether or not you want the entire 
model exported; click Yes. 

• Click on any unit (Pepakura scales 
to page) . 

• On next box, click on .STL in drop- 
down menu. Continue. 

• Save file where you can find it. 

• Open Pepakura. 

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Paper Items with SketchUp and Pepakura 

lw GeudeunDwrwOl - l^pakura Deiig 

File 3D Menu Othets 2D Menu Setting! Help 

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Once Pepakura is open pull down 
the File menu and click Open. 
Select the .STL file you just saved. 

Pepakura will ask you if you want 
to flip faces; click No (unless you 
do want to) . 

Pepakura will ask you which side is 
front and which side is top by face 
color. Choose correct colors and 
continue. It will ask you one last 
time to flip. Select No if correct and 

Your page should now look like the 
image shown, with bottom of dome 
on ground. 

# Now click on the Unfold box at top. 

# Your dome is now "unfolded" !! 

# Go to 2D settings and increase 
scale several times until it fits the 

# Use the menus to rotate, adjust 
tabs, etc. until the dome is the way 
you want it. 

# Print! 

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Paper Items with SketchUp and Pepakura 

• Once the model is printed you need 
to cut it out. 

• Dashed lines are fold lines and 
solid lines are cut lines. 

• All solid (cut) lines need to be cut, 
even if they seem to intersect other 

• You may now fold and glue. 
Remember that the folds you make 
for the dome should be sharply 
creased but only bent slightly as 
the angles on the dome are slight. 
It will take practice to determine 
what is right. 

• You may also want to find or make 
a folding tool for small folds. I was 
able to use my fingers when folding 
the dome but this won't be possible 
on some other models. 

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Page 4 of 5 

Paper Items with SketchUp and Pepakura 

# You can now take the knowledge 
you have gained and apply it to 
other things! 

• You might try printing paper 
patterns, gluing them to sheet 
metal and screwing or welding the 
parts together. 

# You might also try printing things 
and enlarging them with an opaque 
projector onto large sheets of vinyL 
cloth or plywood to make larger 

• The possibilities are endless! 

I hope this guide has been useful. Feel free to contact me with questions. I can be emailed at 
ObjectsUnlimited (at) Gmail (dot) com or via twitter @Protobotind . 


This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -03 01 :36:06 AM. 

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